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Issue brief

Partnering with Families to Improve Outcomes

This issue brief describes the importance and impact of involving families in youth development programs. It presents examples of how programs that are part of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development have used three strategies to engage families: communication, participation, and partnerships. These best practices may inspire others on how to tailor their approach to meet the specific needs and opportunities of each program/community.

Expanding Learning: A Powerful Strategy for Equity

This issue brief explores how strategies for increased support for expanded learning programs can help reduce the disparities in educational outcomes between student populations. It provides examples from California's efforts to use local funding to enable more lower-income students have access to enrichment opportunities in out-of-school time. Strategies include increased funding for continuous improvement, more professional development, and increased coordination between out-of-school time and the school day by increasing the number of staff who work across both settings.

Strengthening, Supporting, and Sustaining the Out-of-School Time Workforce

This Practice Brief, the fourth in a periodic series published by the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE), was developed following a Peer Learning Community (PLC) designed to strengthen workforce systems to advance both individual career development and program quality. 

Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies

This brief identifies evidence-based prevention tools that are low-cost targeted strategies for SEL. These "kernels" of practice are easy to implement and helpful for afterschool and summer programs that would be challenged to bring a full SEL curriculum to scale due to time or financial constraints. For example, to promote emotional self-regulation, staff can help children learn deep breathing, positive self-talk, yoga, and exercises. This resource supports resilience. 

Promoting SEL and Character Skills in Expanded Learning Programs

This issue brief provides an overview of social emotional learning (SEL) and character-building opportunities as well as challenges for expanded learning programs. It includes numerous SEL activities and resources on character education at both the program and organizational level. This resource supports resilience.

Intervention IDEAs for Infants, Toddlers, Children, and Youth Impacted by Opioids

This issue brief offers an overview of risk factors and symptoms associated with opioid abuse and a list of interventions that can improve outcomes for children and teens affected by opioid exposure. Geared for parents, schools, and programs, each entry includes a description of the intervention, examples of associated actions, and quality indicators that can be expected when the intervention is implemented successfully.

Reflections on the Relevance of "Self-Regulation" for Native Communities

This issue brief explores American Indian Alaskan Native (AIAN) perspectives on "self-regulation," a key concept in the emerging social and emotional learning field. The article suggests a more holisitic definition of self-regulation, recognizing that in AIAN communities individual existence is understood as inseparable from family and community. Included are "snap shots" of self-regulation skills and lessons learned at various developmental ages. This resource supports resilience and is relevant to all races.

An Ideal Opportunity: The Role of Afterschool in Social and Emotional Learning

This issue brief provides a succinct overview of social emotional learning and why afterschool is a perfect place to focus on this and to achieve positive developmental outcomes. It includes examples of curriculum and activities for afterschool programs from SC, NC, GA, NH, and NY.

Crosswalk of Early Childhood Mental Health Services

This brief provides a crosswalk of three common community supports that enhance children's social and emotional health: (1) infant and early childhood mental health consultation, (2) pyramid model/practice-based coaching, and (3) mental health treatment. It provides information such as definitions, professional qualifications, and service examples.

Camps Help Make Children Resilient

This issue brief shares seven experiences children need to become resilient including building new relationships, developing a powerful identity, feeling in control, and fostering a sense of one's own culture and that of others.